Flaneurs: Nameless in Paris

By Debbie, age 16, New Zealand

As I stride to the city of lights, I feel something holding me back. There is an edge to my walk, a chipped nail and the feeling you get when you encounter the beginnings of the unravelling of your favourite sweater. The country has always been the center of the clockwork of my heart, but the mystery of the city drove me to dig to its bubbling core. The first building I see is one I will never forget. The sleek glass honeycomb filled with busy coffee guzzling businessmen, all serious and slightly troubled behind the mist of their glasses.

Outside, there are three hooded people, excited with cans of paint and red in their eyes daring me to disapprove of their madness. I think to myself, the three musketeers. The three musketeers who will probably stab you if you come too close, the ones so thirsty to destroy what was once theirs but robbed from them. This was the only way they knew how to steal what was precious to others, to steal from the rich. Or so they believed. But buildings are replaceable, unlike the freedom and love before this era consumed by greed. A distant relative was consumed by this greed, bled dry by the city glinting like a handsome vampire but was only dead inside. I will never forget their trembling hurriedness, the screech of police cars. They warned me to stay away from the city; it will only bring you madness and grief.

How can a land so beautiful have ever caused so much pain? Look, to the left are some ice princesses, mermaids of childhood longing magnified. Knives in their pockets. Hoodlums from the outskirts of the city, ones I knew how to tame after years of living in a cottage alone and the myriad of beasts surrounding me. There were doe eyed schoolboys and I wonder how different this shard of the world would have seemed through anyone else's eyes. The ones who were tucked into their beds, the ones who did not have to travel for three days on foot to reach the closest village. My raggedy plaid flannel jacket, rough denim trousers, and hair I had never cut trailing down my shoulders. Black with a violently purple sheen. I didn't look like anyone I'd seen. My first twenty minutes walking the Parisian streets and I still did not belong anywhere.

What did you think about this article? Tell us!

First Name:
Email or MySpace:

Sweet Advice
Reader Feedback

February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

Sweet Designs Magazine
The Magazine You Can Write For
The Voice of a New Generation


Your Ad Here